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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 10:30 am 
Pharaoh
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Nope, you're all crazy. Your point about Hawass' use of bare hands with Tutankhaten's mummy not being very crucial.. I'm sorry, but I can't agree with that. Yes, the mummy has hardened over the years, and is physically more astute than the skin of you or me, but the oils in our dirty, dirty hands can do nothing but harm to the mummy. It might not be as weak as our skin, but it's a far cry from stone. If any actual skin contact were to procure, I would leave it at an absolute minimum.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 6:49 pm 
Prince/Princess
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Anyhoo, why would one wear gloves when handling statues, Lostris?


I can't claim to be an expert on this, but having been around a museum as a volunteer I've gained some information. I've read some about it, too.

It may not always be necessary to wear gloves when handling stone artifacts such as statues, but most professional conservators will. For one thing, all stone artifacts acquire a natural patina over the years, and this patina can help protect the most delicate carvings on a piece. The oils in our skin and simple handling with our bare hands can wear down this patina and render the piece more vulnerable.

More importantly, many of these ancient Egyptian statues were brightly painted, and often there are still extant remnants of the paint. (The face of the Great Sphinx still has a bit of paint on it, in fact.) The oils in our skin are quite corrosive and can damage or destroy the remains of paint.

The case for wearing a face mask is similar. The carbon dioxide we all exhale when breathing is very damaging to ancient paints, as is the humidity in our breath. This is one reason the Egyptians have had to close off the spectacular tomb of Nefertari in the Valley of the Queens--many years of trapsing tourists significantly damaged that tomb.

In our own exhibit at the Field Museum we have the offering chapel of a 5th Dynasty prince named Unis-ankh. Within the chapel is his false door, which is about ten feet tall, two feet thick, and weighs some seven tons. There is glass plating covering the bottom six feet or so of the false door so that no one can touch it and damage the pinkish hue the Egyptians applied to make it resemble pink granite (it's actually limestone). However, the top four feet or so of the false door is not covered by glass. Most people may not be tall enough to reach over the glass and touch the door, but over the years the breath of the hundreds of thousands (millions?) of people who have stood in front of the door to admire it, has caused obvious damage. The pinkish hue above the glass sheeting has considerably faded; it's plain to see when compared to the majority of the door behind the glass. This drives our consulting Egyptologists nuts but no one has done anything about it yet. :x


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2005 10:52 pm 
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Oh, DUH! I feel like such a dolt, now... I completely forgot about the paint! I guess I'm used to seeing the eroded statues and walls.. Geeze, I'm sorry..! :(


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 6:42 pm 
Prince/Princess
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Oh, DUH! I feel like such a dolt, now... I completely forgot about the paint! I guess I'm used to seeing the eroded statues and walls.. Geeze, I'm sorry..!


No problem. Like I said, I'm no expert on conservation of antiquities, but being around a museum has taught me a few things. It is kind of interesting.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 8:37 pm 
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I've been meaning to ask you - how did you land a job like that? That's been a dream of mine, working in a museum in the Egyptological department. Unfortunately, I cannot intern at any local museums because if I even had the time, I could not do more than be shooed away from snobby jerks..! :( Believe me, I've tried, and apparently, I'm too young..


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 3:34 pm 
Prince/Princess
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I've been meaning to ask you - how did you land a job like that? That's been a dream of mine, working in a museum in the Egyptological department. Unfortunately, I cannot intern at any local museums because if I even had the time, I could not do more than be shooed away from snobby jerks..! Believe me, I've tried, and apparently, I'm too young..


Sorry if I gave the wrong impression, but my docent position is not a job. It's a volunteer position. Almost every major museum on earth has docents, and granted on occasion they receive a small stipend, but I've never heard of anyone making a living as a museum docent! I am a professional graphic designer and that's how I earn a living. Becoming a docent was simply a way for me to share my love of ancient Egypt and my love for the ancient Egyptian exhibit at the Field. It was a good way for me to put 20-plus years of studies to practical use.

I'm sorry you haven't had a positive experience trying to find some kind of role at a museum. The people who have treated you this way should be ashamed and have no business representing their institution to the public. I don't know which museum(s) is near you or what opportunities it offers younger people, but here in Chicago the Field has wonderful opportunities for younger people. Do you mind giving me your age? I'm just curious. If you don't want to, that's all right. The Field has a large intern program just for teenagers, and oh how I envy them! There was nothing like that where I grew up. They're not docents, but they do lots of fun stuff. I know from experience it's quite difficult to get into the ancient Egyptian exhibit at the Field as a docent (tests, mentoring, that sort of thing), but requirements for this vary from museum to museum.

Keep looking, Unas. Your intelligence and enthusiasm will be noiticed! If you're ever in Chicago, I'd be happy to give you a tour of the Field and show you some of the opportunities we have. :wink:


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2005 8:38 pm 
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Well, I'm 18, but I was 16, and then 17 when I tried at the local Hispanic culteral centers (because everyone cares about nothing special), and Blackfoot Indian Museum (mainly geographical convenience).

You know, I've been looking into Chicago University as a Graduate option, for studying Archaological/Egyptological stuff. ...That, or I could go to Portland and enroll in a cooking school; something I've always loved. Perhaps I could be a chef, with a docent in a local Portland museum! Meh? Time will tell.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2005 11:55 am 
Prince/Princess
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You know, I've been looking into Chicago University as a Graduate option, for studying Archaological/Egyptological stuff. ...That, or I could go to Portland and enroll in a cooking school; something I've always loved. Perhaps I could be a chef, with a docent in a local Portland museum! Meh? Time will tell.


The University of Chicago is one of the world leaders in the field of Egyptology. On its campus is the Oriental Institute, which contains a small but beautiful Egyptian exhibit and probably the country's most spectacular Mesopotamian exhibit. If you're truly interested in studying Egyptology--not an easy field, but oh so fascinating!--then you can't go wrong with the University of Chicago. And while studying you could gain invaluable experience as a docent at the O.I. and/or Field Museum. I'm not connected with the O.I. in any official capacity (yet!), but numerous O.I. docents are also docents at the Field, and are some of my best docent friends.

I can't help you with the cooking thing, though. To me, cooking usually involves not much more than throwing a Healthy Choice meal in the microwave, or ordering out. :D


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2005 12:21 pm 
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Can I just ask what the major differences between a course in Egyptology and Egyptian History would be? I've been looking at UCL as a possibile University, and they offer both- with the later looking more up my street. Can you give me any general advice Kmt_Sesh?


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2005 3:32 pm 
Prince/Princess
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Can I just ask what the major differences between a course in Egyptology and Egyptian History would be? I've been looking at UCL as a possibile University, and they offer both- with the later looking more up my street. Can you give me any general advice Kmt_Sesh?


That's a good distinction to point out, Psusennes I. It's not really accurate to say one is going to take a course in Egyptology because Egyptology is a degree unto itself, like anthropology or zoology or medical school. However, in studying to become an Egyptologist, you would certainly take numerous courses in Egyptian history, art, religion, language, and the like.

In other words, Egyptology is a college degree, while Egyptian History is a course or class. Where I grew up there were no universities that offered a degree in Egyptology. Well, most colleges in the U.S. don't have a school of Egyptology, as far as that goes. What you'll more commonly find is a degree in ancient history with a stress on ancient Egypt. I envy you. :D You're still young enough to make that choice and have a college nearby that offers a degree in Egyptology. I fear it's too late for me. I'm too old now.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2005 2:04 am 
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Awww. Poor you. You remind me of some old tutor in a film who's making a dying speech. "Go on without me. . . . It's too late for me. . . . Avenge my death. . . *groan*!" :)

UCL does actually offer separate Egyptology and Egyptian History as undergraduate courses. Hmmm. Which one do you think is superior?


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2005 8:34 am 
Prince/Princess
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Make sure you ask if from the point of view of graduate studies one may be considered "better" than the other.

I'm a university professor (not egyptology though) and in my department we have several undergraduate tracks. One of those is considered the best preparation for graduate school. The others are better suited for people making other types of career choices.

It may be that one of the choices is more likely to get you into graduate school (which I assume your interested in as a long term choice).
In my graduate program some undergraduate degrees are more likely to make you competitive for financial aid in grad school. So ask about these things.

It may be that you just have the option of picking the one you just find the most interesting, but it's a good idea to ask what the ramifications (if any) are of your choice. :D

Quote:
You are encouraged to visit Egyptian and other Near Eastern sites.

Also ask who pays for this :wink:


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2005 4:33 pm 
Prince/Princess
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Awww. Poor you. You remind me of some old tutor in a film who's making a dying speech. "Go on without me. . . . It's too late for me. . . . Avenge my death. . . *groan*!"


For some reason, reading that, I just pictured myself as Darth Vader dying in the arms of my son, Luke Skywalker. :D


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2005 5:04 pm 
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That's lots of good advice, Merytre-Hatshepsut. I'm glad you put in your professional advice.

I should imagine if you truly want to make it in Egyptology, an undergraduate degree would never suffice. It's more or less expected to go the whole route, from masters to Ph.D. That means lots of writing and earnest efforts at being published in the literature.

Hmm, having to write a lot about ancient Egypt. Sounds all right to me! :D


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 12, 2005 11:08 pm 
Pharaoh
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Hmm. I'm still not sure if it's for me. Cosmology departments are begging for more students, and that's another of my passions. It'd be selfish just to apply for the sake of it when there's something else I could do and be equally happy. . . hmmm. . .


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